New Castle News

News Bloggers

November 8, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: There is no finish line in the race to excellence

NEW CASTLE — "Don’t worry about achieving. Don’t worry about perfection. Just be there each moment as best you can." — Pema Chödrön

When I ...

Then I ...

When you what?

Then you’ll what?

Please stay with me on this. I’m a firm believer in setting goals. After all, you can’t know you’re hitting the target if you don’t have one.

But the target is not the finish line. The end really isn’t the end. Achieving your goal really isn’t the ultimate prize.

Much more important than “When I” or “Then I” is simply ... WHY?

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Why do you play?

Why do you sing?

Why do you dance?

Why do you study so hard?


Let’s explore the “When I, Then I” theory a little deeper.

“When I lose 20 pounds, then I will ...”

•Be happier.

•Be more attractive.

•Have more energy.

•Be able to fit into my clothes better.

Maybe. All of those are certainly possible. But here’s the rub: When you lose those 20 pounds, your work isn’t finished.

Losing the weight is a worthy goal, but it’s not the end. In a lot of respects, it’s really the beginning of even more focused attention in the future.

Think about it. When you get to your perfect number, you don’t automatically stay there. Lots and lots of work will be ahead for you to maintain that condition.

Know anyone who’s lost a lot of weight ... and then gained it all back?

“When I earn a scholarship, then I will ...”

Young athletes, you’re bustin’ your tail right now so you can earn a free ride to college. What happens when you get there? Would you like to keep your spot on the team? Would you like to start at some point?

Great. Now you’ll REALLY have to get to work. If you think you’re puttin’ in time now, just wait.

Film. Individual workouts. More film. Team study hall. Weight room. Team meetings. Positional meetings. Speed and agility training. Travel. More film. Playbook study.

Oh, one more thing — classes and school work.

Am I on to something here?

Don’t play to please your parents.

Don’t lose weight for your boyfriend.

Don’t study because you’re afraid to fail.

No people pleasing. No fear. No following the crowd.

Love. Just love.

Do what you love. Do what makes you feel alive. Be what you believe God has designed you to be.

Do you know that study after study shows that nearly 80 percent of people are unhappy in their job and believe they would be more fulfilled doing something else?

Why is that? Did they choose a career because their family pushed them into it? Was money the ultimate prize? Status or respect?

Don’t fall into that trap. Be warned, there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s NOTHING at the end. Just more of what you’re doing now.

So if you remember nothing else from this blog, please write this down: The joy is in the DOING. The blessing is being able to compete in something you enjoy. Live in the present and stop focusing on the end result.

It’s not “When I.”

It’s not “Then I.”

It’s simply “Why.”

So, yes, start your engines and hit the road to excellence again today.

Just make sure you enjoy the ride.

If you haven’t noticed already, that’s really why we drive ourselves so hard in the first place.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?

    It was inevitable. I knew it was coming and the situation was unavoidable. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for this moment and it has finally come.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results